Credit: U.S. Forest Service
Comment period ends June 30, 2021
May 1, 2021 - SONORA, Calif. — The Stanislaus National Forest is proposing a new recreation fee to sell Christmas tree permits to the public beginning in November 2021. The permit would allow forest visitors to harvest their own Christmas tree on public lands. Fourth grade students who participate in the Every Kid Outdoors program may obtain a free Christmas tree permit.
“We recognize how important the Stanislaus National Forest is to our local communities and our visitors in providing both a variety of recreation opportunities and Forest products. Family outings in search of the perfect Christmas tree – whether to the Forest or to a local tree farm – can provide a memorable recreation experience while building family holiday traditions,” said Beth Martinez, deputy Forest Supervisor. “We encourage public feedback as we plan this new fee proposal.”
The proposed recreation fee is $20 per Christmas tree. Trees must be less than 20 feet tall and no more than eight inches around at the base. Visitors will be able to purchase their permits at forest district offices and by visiting www.recreation.gov.
The public is invited to comment on the proposed Christmas Tree Permit Program between April 30 and close of business on June 30, 2021. Please send your comments to: USDA Forest Service, Attention: Christmas Tree Permit, 19777 Greenley Road, Sonora, CA 95370, or email your comments to SM.FS.StanislausNF@usda.gov, Attention: Christmas Tree Permit.
If you prefer to provide oral comments, please call (209) 813-6011 and indicate that you would like to provide comments on the proposed Christmas Tree Permit.
In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected from Christmas tree permits on the forest where they were collected, where they can be used to support operating the permit program. Under REA, all new recreation fees must be proposed and approved by a citizen’s advisory committee. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new recreation fees.
Once the public comment period is complete, the proposed recreation fees and any comments received will be reviewed by the advisory committee. After its review, the committee will submit its recommendation to the Regional Forester for a final decision.